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I've installed a tomcat instance on a clean Windows 2003 machine (VM running on an ESX cluster). I have an IIS background and I'm not familiar with tomcat. I'm hosting a single java/jsp based vendor app.

Every day or so, the tomcat service would just shut down on its own.

How would I go about troubleshooting why this is happening? I'm not finding anything in the event viewer (though tomcat probably doesn't log there)

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In my experience, Tomcat normally dies due to an underlying application issue causing a Java exception. As others have suggested, the log files are clearly the first place to look. As you're investigating the issue on Windows, I'd recommend using SysInternal's Process Explorer and Process Monitor as well. Process Explorer will let you see whether tomcat is dying on its own, or the JRE it launches. Process Monitor, on the other hand, is an unparalleled tool for watching exactly what's happening when the process bombs. Tie this in with event log / tomcat log information, and you'll be on the right track.

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Take a look at the tomcat logs. They are placed in the directory logs in the tomcat install folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 6.0\logs). this might give you some hints about whats going on.

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As Christian suggested, the Tomcat logfiles (catalina.out and the application specific logfiles) will be the first point to look at. Depending on your Tomcat version, the directory may differ, though.

In addition, if Tomcat is installed as a Windows service, you might take a look at the Windows event log (Control center > Manage > Event Log).

The Tomcat log files will help you determine if the shutdown has a specific reason (e. g. a memory leak in the application you deployed) or if it has a different cause.

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